Today we celebrate Trinity Sunday. We celebrate specifically God in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. There really is such a depth here to ponder, but also a simplicity. The word ‘Trinity’ isn’t a word we hear in the Bible, but in the Gospel today(Matthew 28.16-20) we hear about Jesus’ call to make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is the Trinity. In essence the word ‘Trinity’ is Christianities most basic description of who God is, who He has revealed Himself to be, and who He needs to be in order to save us.
[Perhaps, in exploring what the Trinity is we do best to begin by quoting the Catechism which says, The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons. These divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire. (Catechism, 253).
So there is one God, and the three persons of the Trinity each possess the one Divine nature fully. The Father IS God, He is not 1/3 of God. Likewise the Son, Jesus, IS God. He is not 1/3 of God. And so too, the Holy Spirit IS God, not a mere third of God. So each of the three persons possesses the one Divine nature fully.
It is our experience that if there is only one of something, and I possess that something fully, there is nothing left for you. Yet, mysteriously each of the Three Persons fully possess the one and only Divine Nature fully, while remaining distinct persons.] –Excerpt taken from a Homily by Msgr. Charles Pope
This great mystery is the central mystery of our faith and our life as Christians, however, being a mystery, it can never be fully known by reason, or intellect, alone. It is hard to even explain it in all it’s richness and depth. This is the way I’ve heard it said before, if I was asked to explain my love for my children I wouldn’t have the words to be able to express it fully, as simple as my love for them is. In the same way, how would I be able to fully explain who God is or have adequate words to express His mysterious greatness.
Thankfully we are able to see traces of His Trinitarian being in his work of creation and throughout the Old Testament, as we hear in the reading from Deuteronomy (4.32-34, 39-40), and more fully after the incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit (Catechism 237), as we have celebrated throughout the Church year.
God reveals and invites us into His Trinitarian life through our baptism, which is further lived out in the life of the Church. And His Spirit bears witness with our spirit, as we hear in St.Paul’s letter to the Romans(8.14-17), that we share in His life, that we are His children and share in the inheritance of His kingdom.
There is something we do quite often, as Catholics, that reminds us of God’s presence among us in the Trinity. Does anyone know what it is?? The Sign of The Cross! Do you ever think of the significance of this, or what it means? It is a reminder of our baptism, our new life in Christ. It is a reminder of the Trinity at work in our lives. What power these words have, as we say them before we pray, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” What if we were to say this as we rose at the start of a new day, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” As we got to our work, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Or before we tackled a certain chore or task, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” What power and strength our daily tasks would have, united in the Trinity who we are acknowledging is at work in us . I believe that it is worth pondering and internalizing.
The closing words of today’s Gospel remind us that God is always present to us: “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” He is with us by being always within us. We have become temples of the Holy Trinity through the blessed waters of baptism and have become a dwelling for Him in the very core of our being.
Let us ponder this great mystery and pray that God would reveal Himself to us in the Trinity in a deeper way. And let us remember that He is present with us, through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, calling us to be His children.